Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Categorization of Words

So I'm working on memorizing words - thus far a much more challenging task than it is in other languages, which is of course due to the fact that there are only seven syllables (making it feel like memorizing lists of numbers or something).
I find that the most helpful things are (in no particular order):

  • Flashcards, flashcards, flashcards. Particularly my group on quizlet (which I am kind of soliciting, but in a really genuine way. I'm finding it extremely helpful), which makes organization easy and has little game things to put a time stress on you.
  • Categorization of words - putting words in a category is, I think, one of the most important things (Sudre even designed the four syllable words to fall into a different category depending on their first letter). But even with the smaller words - putting them in the category of "opposites" that have the syllables reversed, or "question words", or "possessives" or something else. It's useful to note, for instance, that all of the two syllable words that start with "re" are possessive words - a categorization that Sudre/Gajewski did for us; or that all the two syllable words that start with "do" are nouns that generally relate to people (except dosi, which means "other"). Anyway it's really helpful, and I'll probably post some lists that help with all that in general.
  • Visualisation - by this I mean the shorthand. The shorthand is useful in that although it is only made up of seven signs, each word tends to look unique and different because of their combination - a trait that is less common using only the words or the notes written on a musical staff. For instance, the word "dore" (I, me) is represented by a circle with a vertical line coming from the bottom (or tangent to the right side - but the former is easier to write), and one can easily imagine it to be the upper part of a stickman - a fitting symbol for a representation of theirself. 
So, for my own and possibly your reference, here is a small list of question words (I feel it's useful to see a question mark after it to reinforce the idea) -

[EDIT - these are all from Gajewski, but some of them are the same. Point being, maybe don't memorize from here :) ]

Fado? - What? (used in phrases like, "what is this?")

Midodore? - How much? How many?

Mire? - Who? Which? (I think that mire can also be used as a non-question word - the definition is "that, which, who", which are all pronouns (but pronouns can be questions, of course)) [EDIT - Now I'm less sure that this word can be a question (though it might be allowed)]

Mifa? - Whose?

Fasol? - Why? [EDIT - Sudre: Here, here is]

Also - there seems to be no word for "where", "when", or "how" [EDIT - for Gajewski at least]... I shall assume that the phrases are simply these:

Fado sidomido? - What place? (Where?)

Fado doredo? - What time? (When?)

Lare fado falami? - By what means? (How?)

(The word "Fasol" is an area of discrepancy between Sudre and Gajewski - This is Gajewski's word, as I promised I would favor him. I'm still uncertain and/or a little upset at having to make decisions - I'm not positive that it is right to prefer Gajewski... But Sudre says that this word means "here is" or something to that effect, but the word "mila" (behold, here/there is) already fills that role... I still feel that Sudre must have just made some minor changes like these for the better and we don't have a more recent book of his... augh. Decisions with little to no basis irk me.)